Category Archives: Occupational Health and Safety

Flannery Safety can now provide Consultant Auditor Services

Flannery Safety Has Added a New Service: Consultant Auditing for the ACSA

As of November, 2018, Flannery Safety Consulting has added a new service that we can provide to clients: we can now provide Consultant Auditing services through the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA).

Consultant Auditing adds to the current list of services we can provide you with, which already includes safety program monitoring and maintenance, and safety program building.

Many construction companies have or are trying to obtain their Certificate of Recognition through the ACSA. While most companies participate in the Peer Auditing process, some need a Consultant Auditor to get their COR audit done. As noted on the ACSA website:

For some companies, participating in the Peer Program is not a viable option, this is where a Consultant Audit is next best suited. For this, your ACSA is proud to maintain a comprehensive directory of ACSA-certified consultant auditors to choose from. Access to this directory is offered to our member companies and is intended to serve as a reliable source for selecting consultants to conduct COR audits. Each auditor within the directory has been screened through our application process and then deemed to be in full adherence with ACSA consultant auditor standards.

The consultant auditors are professionals who have met the requirements of the ACSA and passed the exam. They are held to a higher standard and as such, they charge companies for their time. Arrangements with consultant auditors are the responsibility of the company and dates / cost are negotiated between the two parties.

Flannery Safety Consulting has now met the rigorous new Consultant Auditor standards that were set in 2017, demonstrating a high standard of knowledge, professionalism, and ethical behaviour.

We look forward to the opportunity to provide this new service to clients throughout southern Alberta!

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Flannery Safety Consulting Now Has a CRSP


Jim Flannery, owner of Flannery Safety Consulting, is now certified as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). As noted above, CRSPs “offer in-depth knowledge of OHS principles and practices and apply this knowledge to develop systems in order to achieve optimum control over hazards in your workplace.”

CRSPs are held to a high standard of ethical behaviour and are expected to commit to lifelong learning, to stay current with developments in the Occupational Health and Safety field. We’re honoured to have earned this new designation and hope it will continue to provide credibility to our company.

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Flannery Safety Consulting Turns 2 Years Old!

Flannery Safety Consulting turned two years old this week!

It has been an interesting and challenging two years in business. Growing a client base came fairly slowly at first, but things are now quite busy, the bills are getting paid, and there are some interesting prospects on the horizon as the company’s business model continues to be refined.

What We’ve Been Up To

There have been a number of exciting developments since the start of Flannery Safety Consulting. Founder Jim Flannery earned his Safety Coordinator Gold Seal. He was the first person in Lethbridge, AB to get that designation. The company was runner up in the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge in 2016. Jim spent a six-month term as the chapter president for BNI Key Connections, the marketing group where more than 80% of the company’s client base has come from. Jim has also been a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Direction and Policy Committee for more than a year.

Along the way, Flannery Safety has given back. We helped out with a Habitat for Humanity project and took part in the Steps for Life event in support of families that have lost loved ones through occupational incident or disease.

How We Can Help

Flannery Safety Consulting helps companies ensure that they are taking care of their staff in several ways:

  • through compliance with Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety laws
  • by upgrading a safety program to COR or SECOR standards
  • by assisting with the monitoring and management of active safety programs

Through positive and proactive changes to a business’ methods, we can show you that protecting your people actually increases productivity and leads to greater profitability, which is good news for everyone!

Lifelong training remains one of the company’s guiding principles. To that end, Jim is currently pursuing his Canadian Registered Safety Professional certification. He eventually plans to become a consultant auditor through the Alberta Construction Safety Association, adding another service to our list.

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Steps For Life

The Steps For Life walk in Lethbridge took place on the morning of May 6 this year and Flannery Safety Consulting took part. More than 1,500 people walked a route along Henderson Lake to support the cause.

As per the Steps for Life website, “Steps for Life brings together families and co-workers affected by workplace tragedy with friends, neighbours, community members and health and safety professionals who are all passionate about workplace safety.” This is the primary fundraiser for The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support (known as Threads of Life), which “is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to supporting families along their journey of healing who have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease.”

Lethbridge has traditionally been one of the biggest supporters of this fundraiser and 2017 was no different. The city’s walk featured 1,532 walkers—the most of any city in Canada—and has raised more than $40,000 as of May 8. That makes eight years in a row that Lethbridge has had the most participation in the country.

Overall, the national Steps for Life campaign has brought in $654,157 as of May 29, which exceeds the campaign’s target for 2017, thanks to generous donations from communities all over Canada. Flannery Safety Consulting is proud to have contributed to the effort this year and looks forward to the fundraising effort—and the walk—again in 2018. Thanks to the generous donors who contributed to Flannery Safety’s fundraising effort!

Jim Flannery, owner of Flannery Safety Consulting, getting ready to participate in the annual Steps for Life walk in Lethbridge, AB.

Protecting Your People Also Protects Your Profits

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Don’t attempt a crane dismantle without a plan.

Flannery Safety Consulting sets itself apart from the competition by emphasizing that in addition to worker safety, there is also abundant evidence that health and safety programs typically are quite profitable in a number of ways—a large Return On Investment in safety, decreased cost of projects, increased reputation, an increased ability for your company to bid on jobs, and many other benefits. By educating owners on the positives of a safety program—protecting your people protects your profits—better buy-in is obtained and better results are achieved.

“OSHA’s [Occupational Health and Safety Administration, United States] Office of Regulatory Analysis has stated: …our evidence suggests that companies that implement effective safety and health can expect reductions of 20% or greater in their injury and illness rates and a return of $4 to $6 for every $1 invested…”

Companies have begun to realize that having safety programs and safe records is a selling feature for their clients; some clients refuse to use sub-contractors who don’t have safety programs and safe working records. From Dodge Data and Analytics:

  • 51% report increases in project ROI; with a fifth of those reporting increases of greater than 5%
  • 43% report faster project schedules, with half reporting schedule improvements of a week or more
  • 39% report a decrease in project budget from a safety program, with a quarter reporting decreases of 5% or more. Only 15% reported that safety programs cost firms more—debunking the myth that safety has to negatively affect a firm’s bottom line.
  • 82% report an improved reputation
  • 71% report lower injury rates
  • 66% report they have a greater ability to contract new work
  • 66% report better project quality

The bottom line is that assessing and controlling hazards can only be done effectively when a company plans its work. Companies with a good plan are more productive and make fewer mistakes; better productivity and fewer mistakes boosts profitability. Likewise, healthy workers are more productive than injured workers and, again, this boosts profitability.

Flannery Safety Consulting provides services in the Lethbridge area and can be reached at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

International Day of Mourning

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April 28 is the International Day of Mourning, honouring and remembering the people who were injured or died as a result of occupational injury or disease in the previous year. Started in Canada, it is now observed in over 80 countries.

In Alberta in 2015 there were 125 lives lost due to workplace injury or illness, roughly one every three days. The official 2015 injury numbers have not yet been compiled, but in a typical year about 27,500 workers per year suffer a lost-time injury (ie. an injury severe enough to require the worker to miss at least one full day), about 43,100 workers per year undergo a modified work claim (the worker’s duties must be changed temporarily to accommodate working while recovering from injury), and about 54,300 workers per year suffer a disabling injury. Added together, that means that roughly one worker in 20 in Alberta will suffer a serious injury this year.

This is an enormous human cost. It affects the co-workers, family, and friends of injured people, changing their lives in the short and long term as they deal with the injured worker’s inability to do all things s/he used to be able to do. Or worse, dealing with the permanent loss of that individual, looking for answers and closure, and trying to live with that hole in their own lives.

And then there’s the societal impact. With more than 100,000 serious workplace injuries every year in Alberta, additional pressure is put on our health care system dealing with the immediate injury and subsequent rehabilitation. Houses have to be renovated at huge cost to accommodate people who lose the use of their legs. Workers who miss time due to injury are compensated by WCB, which costs Alberta companies more than a billion dollars every year in premiums.

In my line of work I’ve seen many serious injuries, from lacerations to partial amputations, to crushed fingers to broken bones to burns. I’ve seen first-hand what damage injuries in the workplace can do and the harm they do not only to the injured workers but to the people around them. Some people never recover from the physical injuries; even more never really recover from the psychological damage. I remain in this business because I’m committed to helping reduce the severity of injuries or prevent them entirely so fewer people have to deal with this trauma.

On April 28, please be sure to take a moment to think about all the people whose lives have been affected or stolen from them by workplace incidents.

Farms and Ranches Moving Forward in Response to Bill 6

Photo: Tracey Flannery

Photo: Tracey Flannery

While attending the Lethbridge Ag Expo last week, I found some great news at the Alberta Wheat Commission table: the government of Alberta is stepping up their educational program for farms and ranches, coming out of the changes from the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, better known as Bill 6.

The ministry of Agriculture and Forestry now has a FarmSafe Alberta page up with tons of good information on topics such as keeping kids safe and links to the SafeFarm newsletter.

Most importantly, information can be found there on one- and two-day workshops being held around the province in the next few weeks giving people information on how to put together a safety program that will comply with provincial Occupational Health and Safety legislation. This program is also being promoted by several key industry leaders: the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Alberta Pulse Growers, and the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.

The workshops are free to attend and could be an outstanding opportunity for people struggling to figure out how to deal with the new OHS requirements to be given some clear direction on what they need to do to comply with the legislation.

Jim provides safety consulting services in the Lethbridge area and can be reached at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.